Nibbles: Wheat rust, Coconut history, Svalbard, Cahokia, Millets, Politics, Crones & robots, Citrus history, Argan development

by Luigi Guarino on February 14, 2017

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Dave Wood February 15, 2017 at 6:09 pm

Coconuts: the Coconut Google Group. An interesting discussion as to whether coconuts are native on the Pacific coast of Panama.
One viewpoint was: “… coconuts would not survive since there without cultivation to control weeds and pests or recover from natural disasters”. I once was in charge of an abandoned coconut plantation in one of the Seychelles atolls: it was turning into an impenetrable jungle – no way whatever were weeds going to be a problem (think big seeds). Another viewpoint was: “The only serious competitor for coconut along the coast line is not weeds but mangrove”. Not so, they grow in entirely different zones. The mangroves (of whatever species) are halophytes and need sea water and grow in tidal sand and mud. The coconuts at the coast need at least part access to a freshwater lens that floats above the denser sea-water in the sandy soils of atolls and inland from beaches (as do people living on small sand atolls, using shallow, but never deep, wells – deep means saline). This lens is absent on the beach. The only time you see coconuts growing on tidal beaches is when there has been recent coastal erosion: falling-over coconut palms as seen in all those tourist brochure photos.

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